Spitsbergen in Depth: Big Island, Big Adventure
14 days with Quark Expeditions Rating:
DAY 1 | ARRIVE IN OSLO, NORWAY
Your arctic voyage begins in Oslo, Norway’s vibrant capital city. If you arrive early, there are many museums, restaurants and green spaces to keep you busy before retiring at your included airport hotel.
DAY 2 | EMBARKATION DAY IN LONGYEARBYEN, SVALBARD
This morning, the group will transfer to the airport and board our private charter flight to Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen’s largest settlement, where you’ll have some time to explore before embarkation. As your ship sets sail, enjoy your first view of the island’s rugged, glacier-topped mountains rising majestically from icy waters.
DAYS 3 TO 13 | EXPLORING SPITSBERGEN
Expect a new adventure every day as we begin our circumnavigation by heading north and around the island of Spitsbergen, exploring smaller, outlying islands. We plan to circumnavigate Spitsbergen, but if conditions are favorable, we will also attempt a circumnavigation of the whole Svalbard archipelago. Every expedition will be different, depending on the weather and ice, but some of the places we may visit include the 14th of July Glacier, Ny
London, Phippsøya, Alkefjellet and the seldom-visited Kvitøya.
These names may seem strange to you, but each site has its own unique appeal. There is no shortage of natural beauty in Spitsbergen, where colorful tundra meadows are complemented by immense glaciers. For birders, the 14th of July Glacier is home to puffins, purple sandpipers, common eiders, barnacle geese and arctic terns, while Alkefjellet’s cliffs are teeming with nesting Brünnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres).
Always on the lookout for wildlife, be sure to have your camera ready to capture reindeer when we visit sites like Ny London, Sundneset and Alkhornet. Searching for the iconic polar bear is a constant activity for your Expedition Team. Phippsøya and Isbukta are two of the bears’ preferred places for hunting, which translates into great potential for you to view and capture them in action.
A big part of appreciating Spitsbergen comes from understanding the culture—not just how people live today, but also how this land was first explored. Whaling was a key industry, and you will see remains of outposts from the 16th century, plus other evidence of whaling at landing sites such as Smeerenburg.
DAY 14 | DISEMBARK INLONGYEARBYEN & FLY TO OSLO
Your adventure ends in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here, we’ll transfer you to the airport for your return group charter flight to Oslo.
All This Included
The 14-day Spitsbergen in Depth: Big Island, Big Adventure itinerary offers the most extensive exploration of Spitsbergen while experiencing all the adventure the island has to offer. This is one of the best regions to see polar bears, walrus and reindeer; plus, the impressive 14th of July Glacier and Alkefjellet cliff are both birdwatching utopias. You’ll also get a glimpse of 16th-century whaling culture at secluded landing sites. This route may include visiting the northernmost Svalbard island of Nordaustlandet if conditions allow.
Cruising: Cabin onboard World Explorer or Ocean Adventurer
Oslo: To be determined
Terms and Conditions
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.